Tag Archives: Paul Philippe Cret

Celebrate the Tower’s 75th Anniversary

UT Tower

Learn about its great story in How to build a Tower

Monday, Feb. 27

11:30 a.m. – 1 p.m.
Birthday Cake
Tower birthday cake and anniversary stickers will be available on the West Mall.

10 a.m. – 4 p.m.
A Special Architectural Drawings Exhibit
The Alexander Architectural Archive (ground floor of Battle Hall) will sponsor an open house with a display of original Main Building and Tower drawings by architect Paul Cret.

5:30 p.m.
A Main Building Historical Tour
Explore the history, architecture and symbolism of the Main Building and Tower.
Tour lasts about one hour. Meet in front of the Main Building.
Tour does not include the Tower observation deck. Contact Jim Nicar for more information.

Sponsored by Texas Exes UT Heritage Society

Manuel d’Archeologie Francaise: Architecture Religieuse

Enlart, Camille.  Architecture Religieuse. Vol. 1, bks. 1 and 2, Manuel d’Archéologie Française depuis les Temps Mérovingiens jusqu’à la Renaissance. Paris: Picard, 1919-1920.

Collection: Cret

Turn-of-the-century gothic art historian Camille Enlart examined French architecture and fashion in his three volume work Manuel d’Archéologie Francaise. Published in two books, the first volume looks specifically at French religious architecture and continues Enlart’s career assertion that the cultural vacuum created by the decline of the Roman empire facilitated the insertion of French forms and themes into Mediterranean art and architecture. Enlart produces a formal survey analyzing various architectural elements, building plans, and construction practices to discern a more precise relationship between forms emerging from classical modes and those of Gallic (and likely Celtic) provenance. The resulting positivist history suggests that the Carolingian epoch represents a decided shift in the dominant aesthetic vocabulary in this part of Europe.

Each book in Enlart’s Manuel d’Archéologie Française includes a number of sketches, plans, and photographs of various architectural elements, construction practices, buildings, sculptures, and costumes. Comparative series play a significant role in each work providing information about the variety and evolution certain architectural objects.

For this volume, Enlart produced an extensive bibliography including works in English, French, Italian, and German divided into five categories: works that deal generally with the chronology and geography of French architecture; works that deal with the origins and duration of early Christian and Romanesque architecture; works that deal with French monuments from the 11th to the 16th century; works that deal with French influence in other countries for the same period; and works concerned with religious architecture. There is no index.

Library of Congress call number: NA 1043 E6 1919

The Vernacular and Academic Nostalgia

Farm Houses, Manor Houses, Minor Chateaux and Small Churches: From the Eleventh to the Sixteenth Centuries, in Normandy, Brittany and other parts of France. New York: The Architectural Book Publishing Company, P. Wenzel and M. Krakow, 1917.

Another selection from the Paul Philippe Cret collection, Farm Houses, Manor Houses, Minor Chateaux and Small Churches is a collection of nearly 100 pages of images documenting vernacular architecture throughout Normandy, Brittany and other parts of France. While there is no index or table of contents, the book’s preface provides some unique insight into the function of this assembly. Written by AIA Fellow Ralph Adams Cram, we once again hear from a scholar seeking to return to a simpler moment, a time when architecture possessed “human scale.” Whether this response reflects the broader attitude toward the social and cultural activities that precipitated the First World War, or a more individual perspective, Cram suggests that the images compiled in the pages of this book are rooted in nostalgia, a time gone by and yet a moment his contemporaries should return to.

Collection: Cret
Library of Congress call number: NA 1041 F3

General Libraries acquires Cret Library

The General Libraries has acquired the library of Paul P. Cret (1876-1945), the architect responsible for The University’s 1933 Master Plan, the design of the Main Building and UT Tower, and 18 other buildings on the UT campus.

The collection totals approximately 700 volumes published between 1560 and the 1930’s plus 43 albums, portfolios, and boxed sets of photographs. The books, many of which are rare, are mostly large, folio-size, and profusely illustrated. Many are in their original leather or cloth bindings. Most of the books are classic texts still in use today by architects and architectural historians.

Included in the collection are offprints, exhibition catalogs, prospectuses, annual reports, monographs, trade and industrial materials catalogs, journals, and periodicals regarding architecture and planning, housing, restoration, and bridges. The photographic materials consist of documentation of the work of Paul P. Cret and his successor firm. The books in the Cret Library will be housed in the Architecture and Planning Library. Photographic materials will be cared for in the Alexander Architectural Archive.

The Cret Library was acquired with funding from the Martin S. and Evelyn S. Kermacy Collection Endowment, the School of Architecture, the General Libraries, and the UT System Academic Library Collection Enhancement Program (ALCEP).

“This is a magnificent collection of great historic value to UT Austin and of current value to a range of architectural historians and practicing architects,” said Harold Billings, Director of General Libraries. “With the addition of this collection and the continuing expansion of the Alexander Architectural Archive we now have one of the major architectural resource centers in the nation on our UT Austin campus.”

In 1907 Paul P. Cret founded what became the most successful beaux-arts architectural firm in Philadelphia. In addition to his work on the UT Austin campus, he designed such prestigious edifices as The Folger Shakespeare Library in Washington, D.C., the Rodin Museum, and The Barnes Foundation in Philadelphia. While practicing architecture, Cret also headed the Department of Architecture at the University of Pennsylvania for over 30 years. After Cret’s death in 1945, his four partners assumed the practice under the partnership of Harbeson Hough Livingston & Larson (renamed H2L2 in 1976). The Cret Library was acquired from H2L2. It is highly unusual that a collection of this type and size should survive in its entirety.